Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA & WOCCU Urge Appropriations Committee to support Cooperative Development Program
Posted October 17, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA and the World Council of Credit Unions wrote to House and Senate appropriators to increase funding for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Cooperative Development Program (CDP) to $17 million, up from the previous year’s $12 million. The CDP is a is a global initiative that focuses on building capacity of cooperative businesses and cooperative systems for self-reliance, local ownership and sustainability.

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill in September providing $17 million, while the House-passed bill provides $14.5 million.

“As the House and Senate move to reconcile these two bills, we respectfully urge you to advocate for the Senate-passed position of funding for this critically important program at $17 million for fiscal year 2020,” the letters read. “With their specialized expertise, CDP’s implementing partners have advanced cooperative businesses and systems in more than 18 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.  Activities are targeted to strengthen cooperative businesses in several ways including improved governance, capitalization, gender empowerment, youth engagement, financial management, market performance and advocacy.” 

The organizations note that the program also prioritizes collaboration among partners through working groups, cooperative research, learning and dissemination of cooperative development resources.

During the life of the program, activities have supported more than 500 cooperatives and credit unions with a combined savings of $495 million. 

Other achievements include:

  • Providing health insurance and services to more than 42,000 people in Uganda;
  • Leveraging more than $95 million of investments for cattle cooperatives in South Africa;
  • Increasing member equity among cacao cooperatives in Ecuador, Peru, and the Dominican Republic by more than $4 million; and
  • Reforming cooperative law and regulation in Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.